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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  December 20, 2012 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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i'm not that worried because my guru kornacki says it's really only a gradual slope anyways, huh? >> that's right, krystal. you shouldn't worry about that, although i have to say i have been a little worried about which of the two human genders your unborn child will be associated with and i am told by a source that you might have news on that front. >> i do. >> which of the two is it? >> that was like be most awkward segue. >> it's professional. >> it will be a boy. >> yeah! >> so i have my little girl, now i will have a boy, matched set. >> that's balance for you. >> that's balance. thank you. >> it's nice having one of each. >> i will take your word for it. that does it for "the cycle." it's all yours. >> many congratulations. a beautiful brother to your lovely daughter. that's fabulous news. good afternoon. it's thursday, december the 20th. just a week before christmas and one thing has become wonderfully clear to me. john boehner is not a leader.
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he's being led, and he may take all of us down with him. >> plan b. >> plan b. >> plan b. >> republicans have made every effort to avoid the situation we find ourselves in. >> they keep on finding ways to say no as opposed to finding ways to say yes. >> he goes up to 400. this deal should be done. >> it's very hard for them to say yes to me. >> the decision is for the white house and the senate democrats to come join us so we can avoid the tax hike on american people. >> it is very hard for them to say yes to me. >> they know it is a nonstarter. >> they're thinking about voting for raising taxes, at least on folks over $1 million, which they say they don't want 20 do, but they're going to reject spending cuts that they say they do want to do. that defies logic. >> guess what? the ceos, they're all on his side. >> we should be able to get something done. >> thank you.
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♪ it is 12 days to the fiscal cliff, five days to christmas, and one day before some people believe the world will come to an end. so why is house speaker john boehner wasting everyone's time? after almost reaching a deal with the president, boehner is now spending his third day trying to whip up votes to pass a bill that has zero chance of becoming law, zero chance of being in a final agreement. it's known as plan b, and it's getting support from some unexpected democratic quarters. >> i actually got really excited when i heard speaker boehner talking about plan b because i thought finally they have made progress on a really important women's health issue i have been working on. >> no, sorry, that was a little joke from democratic senator patty murray referring to a
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method of birth control. in fact, spokesman jay carney got it a business closer at the white house briefing. >> instead of taking the opportunity that was presented to them to continue to negotiate what could be a very helpful, large deal for the american people, the republicans in the house have decided to run down an alley that has no exit. >> the white house called it a multiday exercise in futility. indeed, boehner's plan b is so useless, it's unclear that there are even enough republican votes to pass it. >> do you think you have the votes to pass plan b among republicans? >> yes, we're going to have the votes. >> okay. well, he sounds confident. but even if republican leaders do twist enough arms to pass plan b to raise taxes only on earnings over $1 million h
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senate majority leader harry reid has a prediction about its future. >> house republicans know that the bill has no future. if they don't know it now, tell them what i said. this is absolutely senseless, that the speaker is doing what he's doing. these are gyrations i have never seen before. >> yes, those gyrations include majority leader eric cantor introducing a second bill to bust a move alongside plan b, one that would replace the automatic defense cuts set to kick in at the new year and instead make additional cuts to programs including food stamps, meals on wheels, the affordable care act, and transportation services for the disabled. merry christmas to you. and while the president was visiting wounded troops at walter reed hospital this afternoon, speaker boehner was trotting out his same old tired talking points about slow walking toward the cliff. >> president obama and senate
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democrats haven't done much of anything. their plan b is to slow walk us over the fiscal cliff. i did my part. they've done nothing. >> you can't see it there, but just behind the podium, those are the gyrations harry reid is talking about. let's bring in nbc's mike viqueira who is live for us on capitol hill. mike, what on earth is going on? in simple terms, what is going on? >> reporter: well, you know, martin, a lot of people are asking the same question you're asking, and that is is the squeeze worth the juice here and what the republican leadership is doing in the house of representatives. clearly, martin, at this point you have to say that the odds that the nation is going to go over the cliff have increased quite significantly over the past few days. you know, when they stopped arguing about the principle of raising taxes last weekend and started getting into the nitty-gritty numbers, that was reason for optimism. the trouble is a lot of people hadn't finished arguing about the principle. we just had a preliminary vote in the house of representatives. it's called the rule for all you
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legislative geek out there. the republicans got 219 votes in favor of this procedural vote that allows them to proceed on plan b. of a majority is 218. we're in squeaker land for pla b b. if there aren't enough votes for plan b, there won't be enough votes for the latest presidential offer of $400,000 and above. >> mike, you and i have just spent the last few weeks saying there is a limited amount of time until the fiscal cliff. everybody knows it. the people behind you know it full well. and yet of what we have seen today and over the last 48 hours is another exercise in futility, a total waste of time. i mean, that is beginning to feel as though there's an intentionality about this game. they actually do want this to happen. >> i don't think so. i don't think so they want it to
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happen. i think they simply don't have the votes to avoid having it happen. and when i say we're going over the cliff, it invokes or would activate something we call the inertia scenario whereby everybody's taxes go up and thereby after the first of the year when a vote is put on the floor to cut taxes for 98% of americans, no not allow them to go up for 2% of americans, that makes it an easier vote for republicans. >> that's what i'm saying, mike. what have we been doing for the past four weeks? why didn't we have no negotiations whatsoever? why doesn't the president get the opportunity to attend to matters where he's actually going to make some progress and let's go over the cliff. this is pointless. >> reporter: you might be right. although the republicans are faced with a choice of doing this, which they can pass and send to the senate and say that, look, we have something here. we have acted. it's up to the president. it's in their court evidently. that's not going to work as a matter of legislation, politics, or public opinion, but this is what they're doing. this is where they are at this point. next week at the earliest,
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starting to look likely we go past january 1st on this. >> happy christmas, mike. thanks so much. now we turn to congressman charles rangel, a democrat of new york. sir, i put to you the question we started with, the clock is ticking to the new year. here comes the fiscal cliff. so what on earth is the speaker, mr. boehner and his boys, what on earth are they doing wasting time on these gyrations as harry reid referred to them? >> the best i can make out is that he doesn't have the votes to do what he would want to do, and that he's using these legislative procedures in order to test the moderates as opposed to those that prevent him from making any type of decent agreement with the president of the united states, and i'd like to add, and the american people. he has, unfortunately, in his party a group that he's dependent on if he wants to
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remain speaker that refuse, that refuse to the believe that obama has won the election. they hated had i am from the beginning and the election didn't cause any more delight in where we go from here. and so the best i can make out, he's trying to get enough votes to get enough support to free himself and to ultimately make a deal, but what he is doing now to protect the top 2% at the expense of those people which his party lost credibility with is disgraceful. >> but you see, sir, eric cantor has now drawn up a bill that basically takes us back to paul ryan's budget which focused on slashing food stamp assistance, transportation for the disabled, meals on wheels for the elderly. they won't raise taxes on more than 0.19% of the population.
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programs that almost 30 million americans rely on. i have to ask you, sir, is this some kind of sick joke in time for christmas? >> well, i wonder and i always have, where are all of the leaders outside of the congress? i'm almost prepared to say as lousy as our reputation is, that the people get what they refuse to get angry about. i mean, what they are saying is so out of touch with reality for a handful of rich people going after america. the president campaigned on the fact that he did not want taxes to go up on 98% of americans, and he also wanted to protect the vulnerable. that doesn't sound like a democratic idea. it sounds like a moral idea. it's something that decent people will have to do. and yet with the isolation of
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just a few programs, we don't hear from the priests, the rabbis, the monseigneurs. they should be outraged that we would hold hostage the most vulnerable of americans for the richest of americans. it doesn't make any political sense. >> i thought the big hope for these negotiations was the direct engagement of speaker boehner and the president. without these outside players meddling in the deal. and yet we have the far right republican caucus hijacking speaker boehner apparently as you said earlier once again. just as they did in 2011. >> if the american people will call up their member of congress -- >> but congressman, the american people have just voted at a presidential election. how many times do the american people have to express through polls and through elections that this is what they want. they want an agreement. they want a compromise.
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>> i'm saying now is the time for ceos, the american people, the spiritual community to ask a handful of people, what the hell are you doing holding hostage my country and my congress? because it's abundantly clear that our reputation and credibility is so low that very few people care about what the people care about us, but if everybody was able to say during this holiday season that they did their share, they called up their congress people and told us to do what we are paid for, believe me, they'll feel better and maybe, just maybe, we can move the envelope. >> conman, the facts are out there. the president's approval rating at 56%. congress is at 18%. more americans trust the president on this issue. so why should speaker boehner expect the president to make any more concessions than he's already given? as you well know, the
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progressive kau sus cuss in the house has been extremely upset about some of the concessions the president has been willing to do. speaker boehner decides taxes are not going to rise on the top 2%, they're not even going to rise on the top 0.2%. >> if he thinks he can get unity in his party, then he has to resign as speaker. the truth of the matter is, he is totally dependent on the far right of his republican majority in order to be speaker. these votes, you saw how he took three conservatives off of key committees. these votes he's manipulating to see what is the republican, for lack of a better word, what is the republican leadership left to work with, and not just this year, but next year with the new congress. >> but congressman, we've had this in 2011. we've had a presidential election. we now have it again. isn't it time, do you not think it's time that this speaker
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simply resign because he is an abject failure who is incapable of resolving these critical issues on behalf of the american people? is it not time for him to go? >> well, i think he's trying to find out whether this is working within the republicans. you have to remember the only thing that they say is that the american people did give the congress a republican majority. not this congress because so many of them aren't going to return and they're making the decisions now for next year. but believe me, every vote that we take boehner is counting which republicans are going to vote for him for speaker and he knows that they'll put up another candidate in a minute. so he not only has to be concerned about the american people, he has to take a count on how many republicans he can count on to remain speaker, and that's the task he has. democrats had this with what we used to call boll weevils.
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they get elected as democrats and then start voting as republicans. >> right. >> he now has to find out whether or not some of his party is prepared to stick it to him and get another speaker. it's something he has to consider. >> remarkable. congressman charles rangel. >> it's terrible. >> congressman, thank you so much for joining us once again, and we extend to you our good wishes for this christmas and holiday season. thank you, sir. >> and believe me, we need it. thank you so much. >> thank you. stay with us. much more ahead. >> so there's miss teen usa, had miss maryland and miss universe. >> all together in the same apartment. >> they were cheering in maryland as well as -- >> i think it was miss maryland. excuse me if i have the state wrong. [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice.
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tonight's house vote on john boehner's plan b to avoid the fiscal cliff won't become law because of democrats, but it may not pass because of republicans. boehner is, as the publication "the hill" suggested today, scrambling for votes. so desperate is he that roll call reports he's using arcane procedural rules and a resolution about a routine annual extension of import restrictions of myanmar to make it easier to pass. yes, myanmar. yet, here he is, and this is how he characterized the vote today. >> frankly, i'm convinced that the president is unwilling to stand up to his own party on the big issues that face our country. >> all this for a bill that can't and shouldn't become law.
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joining us now is ron meier, spokesperson for american majority action and jared bernstein a senior fellow and an msnbc contributor. welcome to you both. jared, this plan b, it's not only an affront to what the president has been trying to do in terms of a balanced approach. it's also a colossal waste of time, isn't it? >> absolutely. i mean, i have been writing about this in terms of theatrics at a time when really nobody ought to be going to the theater. the fiscal cliff is way too close for this type of game playing and i just noted today that the gdp report for the third quarter got a little bit of a bump. it was marked up to 3.1%. we're actually making some progress on this economic recovery, but if we go over and stay over the cliff because of all this screwing around, forget about it. you're going to have that recovery go south very quickly. john boehner on monday looked like a guy who is willing to make a balanced compromise or at least consider one in the
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interest of the country. john boehner on wednesday looks like a guy who is looking out for his own skin over the benefit of the american people. >> ron, what's your view of the speaker's performance and his plan b? what do you think of it? >> well, i agree with jared except for on one point. republicans just proposed pelosi's plan for a few months ago. the president isn't reasonable. he doesn't want to compromise. he's not about compromise. he's about getting exactly what he wants, being arrogant because he just won the election. but beyond that -- >> hang on a second, ron. ron, ron, ron, you have to be careful because i understand your excitement at the idea of opposing president, but $1.2 trillion and $800 billion suggests a balanced approach. can you tell me how speaker boehner's approach, which would raise taxes on 0.19% of the population, is that balanced? >> i think both plans are a joke because they don't address the
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real problem, and that's the national debt. cutting a trillion dollars in the next ten years does nothing and leaves the whole bill on the next generation on younger people, on my generation, to pick up the tab for obama's spending and bush's spending by the way and that's not right. and that's not serious. >> ron, i'm going to come back to you in a moment about speaker boehner, but, jared, he's suggesting that the president has not offered us a balanced plan. >> not only has the president gone beyond a balanced plan, but john boehner had a balanced plan or something a lot -- >> what does balance even mean? >> wait a second. >> john boehner started the offer at $800 billion. now he's down to 300 on revenue. the president has given on his threshold. he ran for office on a threshold of $250,000. he has moved up to 400$400,000 your direction. he's given a chain cpi on the table. $2 trillion in spending cuts.
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the president has kept the dell ceiling as part of this deal. so the idea that the president hasn't brought real compromise to this table is upside down. >> ron, we just had congressman charles rangel on the broadcast. he agreed that speaker boehner has been hopeless and should resign. does speaker boehner have the votes tonight and if he doesn't, should he resign? >> no, he doesn't have the votes yet. from my latest count, i have been talking to people who know the vote count. looks like there's about 30 and 45 conservative votes against this bill which means it won't pass. speaker boehner needs 25 votes to pass this bill. he doesn't have those right now. that's why this vote probably won't happen until late at night and he may lose. >> ron, i just have to go back to you. you're very confident. where are you getting this information from? are you speaking to congressmen? >> i'm speaking to high staff, absolutely. they don't have the votes. you can see that. people have already publicly come out against it and we have been talking to members and they definitely -- they don't have the votes right now.
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why haven't they passed the bill today? keep watching tonight. they aren't going to pass it and they probably won't vote until late. it's embarrassing for speaker boehner and the conservative movement. >> i think ron's information is very interesting if it's correct. i mean, we are watching dysfunctional government in action. i always said the deciding factor to whether we're going off the cliff or not once they started actually moving toward a balanced compromise, which we really did see earlier this week, was a test of whether john boehner could bring his troops along. i was always skeptical. now according to ron, and he may be right, we're looking at a possibility where he can't -- >> going off the cliff on a quote, unquote -- >> ron and jared, thank you both. an astonishing performance by speaker boehner. we look forward to further disintegration this evening. coming up, more innocence laid to rest in newtown as honest americans look for real answers. stay with us. so, this
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coming up, more ridiculous calls to follow this texas town and arm america's educators. instead of an apple, give mrs. crabtree an ar-15. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late.
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whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. from a sensible conversation on guns to another nonsensical turn on fox and friends. here are today's "top lines." arch archie bunker had it right. >> we join the president in mourning the victims. >> as soon as we get those recommendations. >> we will certainly take them into consideration. >> there is a big chunk of space between what the second amendment means and having no rules at all. >> vice president biden very
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liberal guy. can he be objective? >> the nra is an organization who has members that are mothers and fathers. >> i am not supporting a ban on anything. i'm supporting a conversation on everything. >> all the gun laws in the world are not going to prevent people who really want to get a gun from getting one. >> where he have you been? >> where have you been? >> i have been president of the united states. >> going from communion to playing war games. >> peel off the partisan war paint. >> 1100 guns turned into the police buy back after the newtown shooting. >> you can ban whatever you want, he will find something else to get. >> any actions must begin inside the home and inside our hearts. >> we don't deal with mental illness properly. there's loads of violence in video games. >> if somebody else was able to point a gun right back at him, he stops. >> it is putting people in a pickle. if you had somebody there with a gun, they might be able to deal with it right there. >> all you got to do is arm all
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your passengers. >> don't wear camouflage, don't wear a uniform. dress like any other teacher. >> we have pilots on airplanes with guns now. >> let's get to your headlines now. >> and let's get to our panel now, all three of whom are msnbc contributor. goldie taylor, joy reid, and karen finney, former communications director for the dnc. three people more brilliantly equipped to have this discussion. karen it hasn't been a week since the cass mer in newtown and the funerals go on and on. mike huckabee says it's a lack of prayer in schools. at least one writer blames it on the fact there were no men in the school, even though two men were tyme present. and newt gingrich, rick perry, and others say it's because teachers themselves need guns. essentially it's everything apart from guns. >> that's right. that's exactly right, martin. let me just start with, i was always taught in sunday school
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god is everywhere. i don't think prayer or not prayer should have anything to do with it. if we accept the premise that the nra likes to say that guns don't kill people, people kill people. okay but people kill people with guns. there are certain things we know about human behavior and certain things that we know when studies have shown, for example, mother jones had a great piece earlier this week that showed that in these mass shooting rampages, if there was somebody who was armed, they were more likely to either be shot or killed themselves. so more people with more guns is the clearly not the answer. better understanding the human behaviors when you combine those behaviors like domestic violence, like children who we know are very curious with the presence of a gun, we know that the likelihood of someone getting shot or killed goes up dramatically. >> no doubt. joy, let me read what best selling author joel c. rosenberg wrote on his blog about who is to blame. the further we turn away from
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god in our nation, the further we drive him out of our society and our schools, the worse things are getting. he then goes on to blame jon stewart, host of "the daily show" for a sketch he did mocking the war on christmas. is it possible to take any of these people seriously? >> actually no. the thing is i think you're seeing among republicans is a party that is trying to test whether or not it is safe to bite the hand that feeds them. and the nra has such a tight grip on conservatives, on republicans, that they feel the need to cast about and find someone else to blame other than guns. but at the end of the day, this is an industry that is being represented by the national rifle association, not the members. and when it comes to the issue of god, i'm not sure how having prayer in school would have changed what happened in this case. this was a mother who home schooled her child, something conservatives say is a good idea. right? we don't know what the religious
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affiliation is of miss lanza or of her son but we don't have any evidence that a lack of christianity led to what happened. we understand that there were psychiatric issues and we understand that had this young man not had access to nearly half a dozen deadly weapons, he couldn't have done what he did. >> that's absolutely the case. goldie, violent video games and violence in the movies has also been blamed, as you know, for this horrific shooting, but the same video games, the same movies are played throughout the world, and yet it's only in this country that we see so many mass murders. isn't it time we focused on the obvious things staring us all in the face, and that is not a video game, not a movie, but easy access to lethal, lethal weapons? >> you know, i have said once and i will say again that, you know, the second amendment does guarantee the right to bear arms for personal reasons, but there's a lot of space, as the president said, between the
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second amendment and no rules at all. and one of the rules we've got to have is a ban on assault rifles. we have to have a ban on magazines with excessive ammunition. i said yesterday if you need more than six shots, when you certainly need firing lessons. but to blame other things like god, for instance, then how does pastor huckabee explain the 16th baptist church where it was bombed and four little girls were killed. i know in my thee ol that the devil is just as likely to walk into a schoolhouse as he is to walk into a church in the midst of prayer. i think these kinds of things that are absolutely ridiculous, there are things that are meant to distract us from the real issues. i don't know that the nra has the kind of grip, the physical grip, that it believes it has. it does, however, have a psychological grip, and i think it's time we broke it. >> right. karen, the president was incredulous at wednesday's press conference when it was suggested the political will to act on gun
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control will fade in a brief amount of time. take a listen. >> i would hope that our memories aren't so short that of what we saw in newtown isn't lingering with us, that we don't remain passionate about it only a month later? >> isn't it incredible that he was having to say that in less than a week after a horrific shooting? >> yeah. it is, but let's think about the reality of this town. here we are awaiting, you know, the fiscal cliff, and we all know if anything is going to happen, it's going to come right down to the wire because things don't happen in this town, this is the new habit, i guess, until we are in a crisis mode, and so i think the question -- the president is exactly right. there's no reason that a month from now there shouldn't be the same level of passion and engagement from all parts of our community on this issue, but, again, you know, martin, as you heard me say many times before,
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that's incumbent on all of us to make sure that we keep the pressure on because what we do know, the nra is going to have their little press conference on friday where, of course, they will come up with some new theory about why it has nothing to do with guns. they're at the same time knocking on doors quietly reminding people that the checks have been written. we need to remember we have to keep putting the pressure on because the nra will quietly exert their pressure as well. >> joy, vice president joe biden spoke today for the first time, and as you know, he's heading this task force. but what in practical terms do you think can he conceive with that task force that will lead to a reduction in these kinds of horrendous mass shootings? >> well, you know, i think that one of the things that the task force can do is look at some of the existing legislation that's preventing us from making change. for one thing perhaps repealing the law that prevents gun makers
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from facing any liability the way cigarettemakers do. they are exempted from such liability. there are other ideas that have been put on the table like forcing manufacturers to add trigger locks, forcing them to add mechanisms that would allow a stolen gun not to be able to be fired. there are a few practical things that can be done. but what i hope the task force does is keep talking about this issue because as sad as it is, to your last question, the risk is over the course of a month that a task force is meeting, the jake tappers of the world move on to the next story and we're not talking about and looking at those little coffins anymore and after a month this issue does fade. so i think the president took a risk by not getting this done in the lame duck, not doing it right now when the politicians are the most vulnerable to public pressure. but having taken that risk, i hope his task force won't be behind closed doors. it should be very public. it has to keep this top of mind. >> amen to all of that. joy reid, goldie taylor, and
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karen finney, thank you so much. do not miss "meet the press" when the head of the nra wayne lapierre will be david gregory's guest. next, would osama bin laden be alive today if america had not tortured detainees? an explosive controversy when we come back. sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than antelope with night-vision goggles. nice! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.
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♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills. clearly the information is that this waterboarding and torture was the major factor in obtaining information about the whereabouts of bin laden. >> politicians aren't ordinarily thought of as natural film critics but "zero dark thirty" is no ordinary film. that's why three senators, dianne feinstein, karl levine,
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and john mccain wrote to the head of sony pictures to protest what they call the film's grossly inaccurate and misleading suggestion that torture helped the united states capture and kill the world's most wanted terrorist. joining us now is msnbc contributor jimmy williams and toure, my colleague and the co-host of "the cycle." toure, the director and the screenwriter both say that "zero dark thirty" is not an endorsement of torture. mr. boll also points out the film is not a documentary and shouldn't be judged as such. but isn't that slightly disingenuous given the fact that for something like 38 minutes at the beginning of the film, there are relentless scenes of enhanced interrogation, to use -- for want of a better phrase -- which then a name pops out and he's the guy that leads to bin laden. >> well, it is disingenuous because the film makes a point of going after authenticity.
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he say they talked to people who really know what really happened. so they're trying to get this almost documentary-like reality, realism. so to say now, you know, it's not all about that is not honest. and the film i think charts is very realistic course. for about six years we went on this disgusting, gross journey into torture. i'm not going to use the pc term. tog the crap out of people and getting very little information. we do get a name. but they beat somebody up horrifically and in the moment they treat him humanely, give him some tea, give him a chance to rest, then he gives them actionable intelligence, but a tiny bit. only when our nation's operatives, cia operatives and military contractors begins to treat people with more respect, only then do we start to get actionable -- >> but, toure, it's possible to argue that this was a deliberate technique of kindness and, if you like, violence, and it did
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involve waterboarding, that then did produce the outcome they're seeking. you're saying he only responded to the nice behavior but he might have been responding to an accumulation of those treatments. >> you can make that point but we know pragmatically over the course of this investigation from kven to when we killed bin laden what made us propel forward is the detective work, treating people with suspect, working sources and not beating the crap out of people which feels good and felt really good after 9/11 but pragmatically it did not work, did not produce information, and it did not make us safer. >> jimmy, do you agree? >> not really. >> tell us why. >> well, i mean, first of all, this is a drama. it's a movie. set that aside. here is what i do know. i know you nor i nor toure have a top secret security clear frens the cia or from any intelligence agency. what i can't tell you is what i know does and does not bork.
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i worked in the united states senate for almost seven years and at no time was i ever privy to any of that information nor did i want to be. frankly, listen, do i like torture? no, i think it's probably bad. i think i'd also -- i don't like drones per se but they make america safer. at the end of the day, this is a movie. it's drama. i think all this hullabaloo by these three senators, two of which are democrats, john mccain, an american hero who was tortured, i think it's all a bunch ado about nothing at the end of the day. it's a movie. it's a drama. it was not meant to be a documentary. >> you're right that it's a movie, but it's supposed to be a record of what happened, but the drone program is not making us safer? we're killing lots and lots of people who had nothing to do -- >> this is called -- >> and what happened in the torture program did not take us safer. it gives al qaeda fodder. it gives them a way to recruit. it confirms that our people when they are captured, they will be
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treated horribly. it wrecks the soul of america, taints our image around the world. it doesn't get us actionable intelligence. >> jimmy, i watched the torture scene in this movie, and as jane maier points out, at no point in the film do we see any of the debate or argument about torture that happened within the american intelligence community. >> that's right. >> how is that not just simply a whitewash of the issue? >> well, because it's a movie. again -- >> but, sir, you keep saying that, jimmy, but at the beginning of the movie is says this, this movie is based upon firsthand accounts of actual events. if it's only a movie, then don't put that up as a rider. >> but i think the movie is saying that -- that's my point. i don't think that -- i go see harry potter movies. that doesn't mean everything in there -- >> stop it, jimmy. harry potter has no place in this conversation. harry potter is a fan tasiccle move. >> at the end of the day, we're
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at war with people that killed 3,000 people on 9/11, that killed people in our embassies and in our diplomatic security places. at the end of the day, i don't give a damn how our american government keeps america safer. i just want them to do it and i don't want to know about it. and by the way, i think i'm in the majority of american people pop. >> do you want us to be safer or feel good beating people up. >> i don't want to know. i don't want to know what the american reicia is doing. i don't want to know. i just want to be safer. i think a majority of americans -- >> but this doesn't make us safer. nothing makes you a bad american. you're a proud american and you're a friend and you know that i love you, but this does not make us safer. it's similar to the gun debate -- >> toure, can i ask you this. how do you know it doesn't make us safer? >> having a gun in your home makes you more likely to use that gun on a friend or family member. having a gun makes gun violence more likely to happen in your life. it makes you feel safer but it
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doesn't make you safer. torture didn't get us actionable intelligence. do you want to feel safer because we're beating up al qaeda in black sights all over the world or do you want to be safer? >> very quickly, jimmy, last word to you. >> i think americans don't give a damn how we stay safer as long as we stay safer. doesn't make it right or wrong. i'm not justifying it. i'm just saying i don't want to know. >> jimmy williams, toure has just said to you that he does give a damn about that issue and there are many americans who do. but both of you are proud americans and i adore you both. thank you. next, the clock ticks toward a vote on boehner's ridiculous plan b. stay with us. ♪
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in just over two hours from now, the house of representatives will go through a pointless exercise in voting on speaker john boehner's so-called plan b to avert the fiscal cliff. today the speaker once again offered his own fantasy as to
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why talks with the president are now deadlocked. >> for weeks the white house said if i moved on rates, they would make substantial concessions on spending cuts and entitlement reforms. i did my part. they've done nothing. >> nbc news white house correspondent kristin welker joins us live from the white house. kristin, the president has said he would veto speaker boehner's plan b if it were ever to reach his desk. so with just days until this deal has to be done to avoid the fiscal cliff, please tell us that there's something going on to resolve this matter beyond battling press conferences and counter accusations. >> reporter: well, martin, look, i wish i had better news. the bottom line is there are negotiations going on at the staff level, but it appears as though these negotiations are all but stalled at the most senior levels. the last time president obama and speaker boehner spoke was
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monday. that's not a great sign. the focus is on the hill, on this vote on plan b. conventional wisdom is this gives house speaker john boehner a little bit of cover, maybe gives him a little bit of a negotiating tool as we head into the final countdown to the new year, but i have been speaking with house republicans, republicans on the hill who are senior who say they, quite frankly, are surprised by the fact that this has gone in the direction of plan b. a lot of senior republicans saying that they were expecting a deal to be done by this weekend. they were expecting to go home. so they are actually confused by speaker boehner's strategy right now. now, having said all of this, martin, as you know, you have seen the way things work here in washington. they always seem to be able to come up with a deal in the 11th hour. we're not quite there yet. we're very close but we're not quite there. so there still is a little bit of optimism left. >> but being -- but, kristin, you understand the legislative process. i mean, time is virtually run
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out, hasn't it? >> reporter: time has proktically run out. you're right. and everyone has said it would be incredibly difficult to get something done before the christmas holiday. now, is it possible that they will come back and do something after christmas? as of right now, a lot of people feel as though that is the best chance for something actually getting done here to avoid the fiscal cliff which could, of course, send the country back into a recession. >> nbc's kristin welker, thank you so much. >> reporter: thank you. >> and we'll be right back. ♪ ♪
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